A community partnership

The community bus took a group to Loch Ken recently
The community bus took a group to Loch Ken recently

The Barrhill Community Rail Bus has just completed a successful year of operation. In the last twelve months the project, which is operated by SAYLSA has just returned a small operating surplus, the first in its three-year history.

The project was co-funded by Ayrshire LEADER, Barrhill CIC, Carrick Futures, SAYLSA and South Ayrshire Council during the years 2010-2012 and provides a community transport and occasional rail connectional facility to a number of communities in the Stinchar Valley area and Girvan.

John McCutcheon SAYLSA Vice Chair said: “We are delighted with this result and is a vindication of all the hard work that has been put in by Richard Carr and the communities of Barrhill and Colmonell together with ACE and ScotRail who have been our chief supporters.

“We have had our fair share of detractors but this shows with effort and local community support it can be a success”

Barrhill CIC currently underwrites the project but following a successful 12 months this drawdown facility has not been called upon.

SAYLSA Development Manager Richard Carr said: “The key factor for the last 12 months was the short term contract from Wigtown Area Committee and ScotRail, which allowed us to run the bus in connection with the Stranraer ticket promotion last summer.

“Providing a rail connectional facility was what the bus was primarily acquired for, but due to a number of bureaucratic reasons we were unable to pursue this.

“We have now submitted a new funding application which if successful would see a bus – rail connection at Barrhill station on a Friday, Saturday and Monday meeting many of the trains. This would have a positive effect on passenger numbers at Barrhill station”. The minibus is available for hire by bona-fide community groups. Contact Girvan 01465 714665.